For any entrepreneur who’s hustled and sweated and paid their dues, the opportunity to work with, be on stage with or partner with someone who’s well-known feels like a huge achievement. Finally, my hard work is paying off!
I totally understand. It’s how I felt this past year when I was invited to host a global summit and my writing was featured on several well-known platforms.
Yet lately, I’ve been contemplating if ‘name dropping’ is in alignment with my spiritual values. How it’s important to recognize how far I’ve come on my entrepreneurial journey, while also releasing ego attachment to status symbols.
Research psychologists point out two human tendencies: linking and ranking. The first is how we connect meaningfully with others, recognizing and honoring our similarities. The second is how we view people in comparison to each other, like a vertical hierarchy.
So often in our modern society, we rank on physical appearance, wealth, power, youth, success, fame, material possessions, religious or political beliefs, experience, lifestyle, etc. I observe human beings have, for better or worse, become experts at ranking ourselves and others.
Where we need more mastery is in linking. How to see everyone around us as our equal, regardless of surface qualities.
So, if we apply the ranking and linking principles to name dropping, what might we find? Quite often, when an entrepreneur receives an opportunity, their marketing materials will state something like, ‘Appeared on the same stage with so and so.’ Or ‘featured on these platforms’, followed by a field of logos designed to provide proof you are valuable enough to hire.
Awesome, I can only imagine what it took for you to open the door to those opportunities and of course, you should be acknowledged as a thought leader in your field.
However, are you name dropping from the motivation of linking or ranking?
Say you gave a 15-minute talk at a conference, where a prominent spiritual teacher was the keynote speaker. If that person never sat down backstage, chatted with you or became familiar with your work, go within to discern if you’re highlighting the status of that person to elevate your own status.
What are you offering them in return for using their name? Are you supporting their work, furthering their message? Or, may you be unconsciously piggybacking on years of their hard work?
I know, I know. We’ve all been through online marketing 101, which tells us to provide social proof. Look, it’s easy to make a shift into deeper integrity. Try something like this:
‘I was honored to speak at this event about ____, along with ____. Their presentation on ____ was so inspiring to me, here are the links to check out video highlights from both of our talks.’
Can you feel the difference?
The process of linking invites us into a reciprocal exchange. Celebrating your achievements, while also acknowledging the use of someone else’s name, their work and reputation is a sacred responsibility.
Want to feature all the platforms you’ve been on? Great. Place a link under their logo that invites your website visitors to read your article on their platform.
Helping others spread their message does not detract from your business. On the contrary, it improves your reputation as a spiritual leader. None of us got here by ourselves. So many people have contributed to where you sit right now and the same is true for those with more recognition.
When we view our business in the context of spirituality, we find an interconnected, conscious network, where all parts reflect the whole. What are you choosing to vibrate out into collective consciousness?
Today, I begin the audit of my own marketing materials, to move away from name dropping into partnership. We have the opportunity as spiritual entrepreneurs to role-model conscious leadership.
This is one simple thing we can do to create more connection, respect, and integrity in our world.